Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

June 18, 2013

W.Va. teacher fired amid sexting accusations

Associated Press

BECKLEY — A Raleigh County middle school teacher has been fired after she was accused of sending inappropriate texts to one of her students.

The county Board of Education voted unanimously on Monday to fire Lori Lester after hearing evidence against her in executive session, The Register-Herald reported

Lester, who had requested the meeting, did not attend but was represented by her attorney, Jay Barringer, and a West Virginia Education Association representative. Both refused to comment after the meeting.

Charleston attorney Brett Preston had accused Lester of sending inappropriate and sexually explicit text messages to a 13-year-old male student at Trap Hill Middle in February and March.

In several of the alleged texts, a woman appears naked and in lingerie but her face is not shown.

West Virginia State Police and child welfare works are investigating the allegations, board president Richard Snuffer said. Lester has not been charged.

Preston said he had turned over all results of his firm’s private investigation into the matter to the board. He said his firm also is cooperating with state police.

Preston said he and the family were pleased Lester was fired.

“We think it should’ve been done sooner, and it’s a shame that it had to become such a media storm before action was taken,” he said.

The student’s parents took him out of the school following the texts and home-schooled him for the remainder of his eighth-grade year, Preston said.